Tin Can Alley

Barstow, California (San Bernardino County)
Last Updated: 06/22/2016
Nearby Trails
Status: Open
Typically Open: Year Round
Difficulty: 1-2
Length: 3 miles
Highest Elevation: 3030 feet
Duration: About 20 minutes
Shape of Trail: Connector
Best Direction to Travel: N/A
Nearest Town: Barstow
Nearest Town w/ Services: Barstow
Official Road Name: CM7632
Management Agency: BLM - Barstow Field Office
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Highlight: Tin Can Alley

Tin Can Alley is a non-technical trail that connects Mule Canyon to the Odessa / Doran Loop. As the trail cuts through a large valley, you will see a short canyon, miles of sandy road and gradual gravel assent and descent to the canyons ahead. During the mining era all of the trash, which was mostly comprised of tin cans, was dumped on this road. Clean up efforts over the years have removed the majority of the trash. When you first enter the trail from the east the remnants can still be seen on the left.


Route Information

Technical Rating: (1-2)

Dirt road. Dry, or less than 3" water crossing depth. Some ruts. Slight grades, up to 10 degrees. 2WD under most conditions. Rain or snow may make 4WD necessary. Usually one and a half to two vehicles wide.

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Tin Can Alley starts off as a flat, sandy road as it cuts through a short canyon. You will stay on the sandy road for the first half of the trail. The second half of the trail changes to a gravel road and starts a gradual ascent up and out of the valley. The last portion of the trail is a gradual descent to the canyon ahead. There is plenty of place to pass and this trail can easily be navigated by most 2wd trucks.

Seasonal Information

Summer:Trail is usually dry and dusty.
Fall:Trail is usually dry and dusty.
Winter:Trail is usually dry and dusty.


1. Tin Can Alley Trailhead

If you are driving north on Mule Canyon, the trailhead for Tin Can Alley is on your left hand side. There is a good sized rock at the intersection. Once you have made the turn, 50 yards ahead on the left, ​are remnants of the old tin can dump. Back in the mining days, locals would dump their trash in this short canyon.

2. Canyon Exit (0.3 mi)

As you come out of the canyon for the next 3/4 of a mile there ​are three different trails that fork to the right. Take the left fork all three times. As you drive on, you will still see BLM marker signs for CM7632.

3. Tin Can Alley / Shortcut (1.5 mi)

On the left you will merge with a larger road. This road is a shortcut back to Mule Canyon. Most people never travel on the first half of Tin Can Alley. They normally take the shortcut and merge onto it here.

4. Vista (2.1 mi)

This is a great place to get a good vantage point of the valley behind you. This valley is used a lot by long range shooters. In the morning, before the winds pick up, you can watch shoote​rs hone their skills by shooting across the valley.

5. Highest Point of the Trail (2.4 mi)

Straight ahead you will get your first glimpse of Odessa and Doran Canyons. From here you can also see the town of Barstow in the distance.

6. Tin Can Alley / CM7635 (3 mi)

This is the end of Tin Can Alley. To the left is the Doran / Odessa Loop. ​T​here ​are a lot of trails and mines ​in this area. The road to the right take​s​ you towards Calico Peak. This ​is ​home to large antennas that can be seen from most of the Calico area.

Directions to Trailhead

Trailhead Coordinates: 34.955630, -116.808860

Starting Point: Yermo

From Interstate 15 heading north, take the second Calico exit and go left towards the Calico Ghost Town. Approximately 1 mile on the right hand side is a dirt road named Mule Canyon - CM7630. It is clearly marked with a modern street sign. Follow Mule Canyon for approximately 4.3 miles. Tin Can Alley is the road road on the left hand side.


Calico is situated on BLM land. Dry camping is open throughout the area. Wood fires are allowed. Please remember to pack out your trash. RVs and trailers can access Mule, Doran and Odessa Canyons. If dry camping is not your thing, the Calico Ghost Town has a campground with hook-ups and showers. They also rent cabins. For information on camping visit: http://cms.sbcounty.gov/parks/Parks/CalicoGhostTown.aspx
Camping: Tin Can Alley

Land Use Issues

Bureau of Land Management, Barstow Field Office: 760-252-6000

Writer Information

David May

Mapping Crew - California
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I have been a southern California native my entire life. Growing up we spent a lot of time in the Eastern High Sierras, the Calico Canyons and the San Bernadino Mountains. When I got my first car, my free time revolved around it. A few years later I got my first off-road truck. Now I was able spend time doing all the things I loved. Over the years I have had a variety of different off-road vehicles. Some were stock, while others were highly modified. With my son recently getting his own 1st generation Toyota 4Runner, we have been spending more time working on his truck and hitting the trails. Whether exploring, hiking, hunting or camping, being outdoors with my family is how I want to spend my down time. Life is too short to spend it on the couch. Go out there and find your next adventure.


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